Many of us car enthusiasts have been less than nice about the re-gifting of Ford's iconic Puma name to a small SUV based on the Fiesta platform. I get it. It's an SUV. There are a lot of them now. Ford, however, seem to have some serious plans to create something that might live up to the performance associations of its namesake and it's been out in testing on the Nurburgring recently...
Intially very heavily disguised, the prototype has shed more of its cladding just recently (this article from PistonHeads has several photos of the more lightly disguised prototype). With a lot of the cladding removed, you can easily see the hallmarks of a performance model. It's got bigger wheels and brakes than the standard Puma SUV, as well as more aggressively flared arches, hints of a kind of bodykit including a front lip and a bigger rear spoiler and a twin tailpipe.
As to what engine it'll have, expect it to have the same 1.5 litre ecoboost 3 cylinder turbo that's in its Fiesta ST sibling. That's an engine that's good for about 200 hp (with more to be got out of it potentially via tuning...). Like the Fiesta ST too, expect the business of shifting gears to be taken care of by a good old fashioned 6 speed manual.
Is a Ford Puma ST something you'd be interested in trying out, or even buying? I know it is for me! Let me know what you think.